15 March, 2019
Supporting our partners to protect children
Child Safeguarding / Foundation
Oak envisages a world where children are protected from all forms of abuse and exploitation, and where their rights and safety are respected. We are determined to put children first in all we do, which is why we hold our employees accountable to high standards of child protection.
Our child safeguarding policy applies to all Oak Foundation staff, consultants, contractors and volunteers. It demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that all our programmes strive to prevent abuse and promote the safety, protection, wellbeing and development of children.
For the past five years we have worked to roll out robust child safeguarding measures within Oak and through support to our grantees. The widely publicised safeguarding incidents in international aid organisations further reinforced our conviction that the need to insist upon measures that place children’s safety first among our partners and within our own Foundation are of paramount importance.
We believe that safeguarding children is everybody’s business, so we ask our grantees to adhere to the same safeguarding standards that we set for ourselves. This means that among our partners, there is an obligation on all organisations and professionals working with or in contact with children to strive to ensure their operations are ‘child safe’. This means that staff and contractors do not represent a risk to children and that programmes, policies and practices are designed and developed in ways that promote the protection of children. Oak provides each partner with the opportunity to access tailored support to develop their own safeguarding measures.
In January 2018 Oak hired a project manager – Steina Bjorgvinsdottir – to help fully implement our child safeguarding policy. She also assists us in providing our partners with the opportunity to access bespoke support to develop their own safeguarding measures. We collaborate with organisations such as Keeping Children Safe, who provide this support in the language and context in which our partners work. This means more specialised support from handpicked service providers around the world.
Since 2015, over 300 of Oak’s partners have received support to put in place their own safeguards.
If you are a partner of Oak Foundation, please speak to your programme officer to find out more about the support you can receive.